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Catholic students in East Asia warn against internet addiction
THE Association of Chinese Catholic University Students (tian zhu jiao zhuan tong xue hui to) is meeting August 10 to 15 at Providence University, in Taichung, on the west coast of Taiwan, to explore the theme “You are written in my love “( Ni bei xie zai wo de ai li).
Each year the association organizes an event to discuss issues of social importance, connected with the journey of faith right of every Christian community on the island. This time, the central part of the five-day meeting was conducted in the wake of the discussion held during the meeting of the International Movement of Catholic Students of East Asia (IMCS) (东亚 文化交流 座谈会), to which the association belongs.
A few weeks ago, 23 to 29 July, the IMCS gathered together more than thirty students in Taipei from Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao, Japan and Korea. This year the movement particularly focused its campaign on the issue of internet addiction (“Mo Wang cheng yin”). As disciples of Christ, if the use of the Internet occupies a disproportionate time in the day, one can not live daily life with a Christian spirit.
The students emphasized the importance of sharing time with the family, instead of constantly sitting in front of the computer or continuously using the phone like “a clan bowed heads” (Di tou zu, 低头 族) isolated from the world.
For this reason, they want to encourage young believers to reach out in simpler and more human ways, to use the internet less, to encourage face to face contact. The importance of sharing the wealth of authentic relationships from a reflection on the Word of God
On the Internet it is very easy to make new friends – said a Japanese student – unfortunately the relationships are not as authentic, because it is also possible to discover and disclose the secrets of almost every person, to commit fraud, spread gossip …
One student from Hong Kong stated that the web “is essentially anonymous, and has no special ethical restrictions, by contrast, it creates a longing and a desire for real relationships in young people outside the purely virtual world.”
Professor Wu, who teaches ethics and is the author of a study on the effects of technological development in the lives of young people, stresses that Internet addiction in the East Asian region is a serious problem among young students: “Some students surf the network for fifteen hours every day, time for study and rest are overturned, some use the internet until two or three in the morning with the resulting severe damage to vision, and because of lack of sleep they often grow impatient and violent, living in a false world that has very few references to reality. ”
For another Korean student, it is even easier to use the phone to find data and play on the internet, too often leading young people to isolate themselves from friends: “If before schools were full of noise and laughter, now there is only silence with students playing on the Internet and becoming a “clan of bowed heads.” In each family every member has their own mobile phone: they live under the same roof but do not share the same life. ”
A Japanese student nevertheless points out the positive side of the internet confirmed by the experience of the tsunami in Japan last year, when, in the midst of disaster, the web helped large number of victims to contact the surviving family members .
Given the fruits brought by the testimonies of young people of the IMCS, university chaplain Fr. Feng (冯), who is among the organizers of the meeting of the Chinese Catholic students, emphasized that all this requires a serious debate on the effect of technological development in the life of young people today. (AsiaNews)